That sound you hear in Denver is Brady Quinn tumbling down the Broncos’ depth chart.
After completing just 6 of 16 passes for 68 yards and throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown in the Broncos’ preseason opener Sunday against the Bengals, Quinn is off to a rocky (no pun intended) start in his new city. For a player that was once thought to be a top 10 pick, Quinn looked completely befuddled and it shouldn’t be long before he’s demoted and Tim Tebow (who had a strong debut, albeit against third-stringers) is promoted.
Considering it was only one preseason game and his first attempt at running Josh McDaniels’ offense in live action, maybe people should cut Quinn some slack. After all, Kyle Orton (who looked fantastic on Sunday) threw three interceptions in his preseason debut with the Broncos last year.
But considering Quinn showed next to nothing in Cleveland and is now off to a less than ideal start in Denver, the clock is ticking for the 25-year-old to prove himself.
Quinn’s problems are the same now as they were at Notre Dame: His footwork sucks, he doesn’t make quick decisions and he can’t make throws beyond the 10-to-12-yard range. Making matters worse, he still has trouble reading defenses, even though this is now his fourth year in the league. While he still has plenty of time to turn it around, he hasn’t improved at all from year to year, which is obviously troublesome.
Fair or not, first rounders will always have higher expectations when it comes to succeeding. It just comes with the territory, which is why Quinn needs to step up his game before he soon finds himself searching for work outside the NFL. Again, it was only one preseason game and he could come out in his next game and tear it up. But considering he was playing mostly against second-teamers and is battling against a QB in Tebow that the Broncos view as their future, he doesn’t get any mulligans.